NaCl's Chef Tasting — 31 Oct 2013

Here are pictures from my chef's tasting at Salt of the Earth. (Thanks, Mom, for the birthday gift!)

Click on images to view the larger, uncropped version. Sorry for the half-eaten ones, and the ones I forgot to take pictures of entirely.

First course

No drink pairing

Started off on a good foot forgetting to take a picture of the first course. It was an oyster on the half shell dressed with something light and citrusy, plated on top of a pile of salt. This is the second time I've tried oysters; the first, I didn't dig it, but this was delicious.

Second course

Wine: Saumur - Chenin Blanc

Beets, apples, jasmine tea and beet sorbet, and a dehydrated cabbage "chip". The chip was awesome... Exactly the texture of a potato chip expect it tasted like cabbage. My mouth was confused. The sorbet I would buy by the pint.

Third course

Wine: San Michele - Nobiola

Hamachi (raw Japanese yellowtail), daikon and carrot strips, mild wasabi sauce, and baby kale. This was great, but I like anything with raw fish. :)

Fourth course

Wine: Brignon - Rosé

Head cheese, fresh mustard seed, pickles, some sort of BBQ-style sauce, and bread. This was the first time I've had head cheese in a while, and it was very good! Went extremely well with the two sauces.

Fifth course

Wine: Damilano - Barbera D'Asti

Soba noodles in some kind of hot peanut sauce with crushed peanuts, scallions, cilantro, and chicken. This dish was probably the weakest of all of them. Not because it was bad — it was delicious — but there was nothing special about it, and it was hard to eat because you had to cut the chicken over the noodles.

Sixth course

Wine: Evening Land - Pinot Noir

Forgot to get a pic of this one until I had eaten most of it. Scallops, caramelized onion puree, roasted cauliflower, sweet and sour cabbage. I loved the cabbage in this one. And the scallops. And cauliflower, and the puree...

Seventh course

Wine: Riuniti - Nebbiolo

Only took one bite of this one until I remembered to take a picture... Seared pork belly, caramelized carrots in honey vinaigrette, spaetzle, mustard sauce. This was David's favorite dish. I liked it a lot, especially the spaetzle, but pork isn't my favorite meat.


No drink pairing

The head chef said he didn't want to serve this to us as a full course because it was very heavy, but that we had to try it. Short ribs in some sort of hearty, beef gravy-flavored sauce. This was *extremely* good and I'm glad he gave us a bit to taste.

Eighth course

Cocktail: Vodka, sweet vermouth, hibiscus

From the top down, cilanto, shortbread, coconut sorbet, braised pineapple, rice pudding, and a sweet cilantro sauce. Cute dessert! I love love loved the coconut sorbet. The cilantro sauce was creative.

Ninth course

Beer: 72 Imperial Chocolate Cream Stout

"Millionaire" dessert! Hard pretzel, peanut butter ice cream, dulce de leche, shortbread, and gold leaf (!). This tasted very good, even for me (I don't generally like peanut butter-y things, especially desserts), though it was a little hard to eat because the dulce de leche hardened from the coldness of the ice cream.

Super secret not-really-a-course

No drink pairing

The head chef said he and another chef at NaCl are going to a James Beard Foundation dinner thing in about a month, and said that they made something new to bring there. He said that he was going to give us some, and we were the first people to try it outside of him and the other chef, and that we couldn't tell anyone about it. I didn't take a picture and I can't write about it... but it was really cool!

Last updated: 31 Oct 2013